My journey began more than 6 years ago with starting and stopping (lots of stopping)paperwork. My parent was initially living at home, then in Independent Living, then Assisted Living. I sent the application when living in Assisted Living. I was going to try for Independent but living arrangements changed to Assisted and so did my approach and much of the paperwork. The takeaway here is yes you may feel like you've been trying to 'get on the on ramp' for years but eventually you'll get there. The following post was a useful guideline/checklist: http://www.veteranaid.org/forums/index.php/topic,3046.0.html I did not mention the advanced age as I figured everyone else was too ! I provided a numbered list of the supporting documentation that I was sending. And placed all the documents in that order. I simply placed a big pinch clip at the top of the documents(as one VA poster mentioned that that is the orientation they'll use). (no fancy binders, etc.) I did have a (bank)certified copy of a separation document but chose rather to send that to the St. Louis Archives and in 2 weeks to the day they took that document and placed their embossed stamp on it. I felt it was worth it not to chance trying to send a (bank) certified copy. And I saved them time trying to recreate/locate a fire destroyed doc by supplying it to them. I was very impressed by the Archives and think they did a top notch job ! I would say that probably the verbiage in the Physician's statement is important. Read the questions carefully. I wrote draft responses myself and the doctor read, validated and signed. I'd be glad to answer any questions that I can. Again, the VA Pension Processing site did a top notch job ! Thank you Debbie ! The information on this site was key ! I made a separate post regarding donation.